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Thread: Documentary: To Sink an Aircraft Carrier | Forums

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kaleun1961's Avatar
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    Has anybody seen the documentary, "To Sink an Aircraft Carrier."? I recorded it on my digital recorder and am just now getting to watch it as I transfer it to DVD. It is about the sinking of USS Oriskany, to make an artificial reef in the Pacific. Sinking an American CV, or at least a post-WW2 model is not as easy as it sounds, according to the documentary. The ship had to be cleansed of toxic substances, then the precious metals [copper] salvaged and then carefully prepped with explosives to get her down.

    Sweet sinking footage. They put video cameras on and inside the hull to film the sinking. Very eerie to see the water rushing in, sadly the same last sight that unfortunate crewmen saw when they went down with their ships.

    At the bottom of the sea, she now serves as the world's largest artificial reef.

    Edit: She was laid down in May, 44 as an Essex carrier, so technically not post-WW2 but she was finished just post-WW2. Saw distinguished service. Sad to see her go down, but at least she didn't get turned into Chevies.

    Edit: She wasn't put down in the Pacific; they put her down 25 miles off the Florida coast.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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  2. #2
    I say the best war for a fighting ship, especialy a Aircraft Cairrer, to go down is in a hail of flaming glory(ie live fire praticice).
    You realy get to see how she would of stood up in combat. <div class="ev_tpc_signature">

    Good Luck and Good Hunting,Wilhelm




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  3. #3
    Senior Member Kaleun1961's Avatar
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    Modern American CV's are so well built that is actually difficult to sink them. Well, at least in theory, as none have ever been subjected to a mauling as Lexington, Yorktown, etc. had to endure in WW2. I'd guess that some items of orndance in the arsenals of the USSR, er, excuse me, Russia, might do the job. But you don't have to sink a carrier to render it hors de combat. I suspect that even when pounded with rockets and bombs that the hull would still float.

    Let's hope that Bryan Lee checks into this thread. I forget his technical forum name, but I think you folks all know whom I refer to, the former ordnanceman aboard carriers. His insider knowledge would be welcome here, as well as one or two others whom I know have served in the modern US Navy.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">

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  4. #4
    The compartmentalization of a modern day CV/CVN of the United States Navy is phenomenal. I won't and can't get into too much detail, but below the main deck (the Hangar Bay) all the way down to the 8th deck (keel) is an intricate network of compartments that contains numerous doggings (watertight hatches/scuttles).

    It would take repeated successful assaults below the waterline just to get her to list... let alone sink!


    A tidbit on the USS Oriskany:

    The USS Oriskany suffered a catastrophic fire in her chaff and flare magazine on the morning of 27 October 1966. An Ordnanceman was carrying an old MK45 parachute flare that was downloaded from a returning A-4 when the canister lid caught the dogging handle of the magazine's watertight hatch. The flare was ignited when the lid came free and the actual parachute was dragged from the canister. Think of a match and its striker, the MK45 used the same theory. When the parachute was dragged from the canister, the chord that attached the parachute to the ignition grain slid on the striker... igniting it instantly. 44 men lost their lives to that fire, along with five compartments scorched to oblivion. The events on the Oriskany caused the Navy to research, develop and switch to the LUU-2 A/B parachute flare. Unlike the MK45, the LUU-2A/B does not get ejected from its canister.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">



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  5. #5
    Moderator willyvic's Avatar
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    Ah, the lovely "O" boat. Last time I saw her she was on her way to the Indian Ocean back in '73. I believe she relieved either the Hancock or the Ranger. Too many years have gone by to remember. I KNOW where I was though, Cubi Point, PI.

    Memories, memories, memories.

    WV<div class="ev_tpc_signature">


    Y'all have a very raaaidy day!
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  6. #6
    CubiPoint, huh? Did you cross the bridge over the peverbial "Sh*t River" a few times? My old man did when he pulled in and out of Subic Bay when not on "Yankee" station himself. He was a GMM/GMG that merged shortly before he was forced out after serving from 1970-1996. He didn't make E-8 because of the merger of the GM rate. He did, however, told me the stories of old Subic Bay and the typical Navy day there.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">



    "Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried to nail jam to a tree."
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  7. #7
    Moderator willyvic's Avatar
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    Shhhhhh! Don't let the Air Farce in on the secret. Cubi Point/Subic Bay was THE disneyland of the pacific for us young, dumb, full of *** sailors. Did I cross s**t river!? Brother I wore down the surface two inches running back and forth over that thing.


    WV<div class="ev_tpc_signature">


    Y'all have a very raaaidy day!
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  8. #8
    Yeah... now they're attempting to replace Subic Bay with Singapore as the new Disneyland of WESTPAC.

    What do ya think of that one?<div class="ev_tpc_signature">



    "Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried to nail jam to a tree."
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  9. #9
    Moderator willyvic's Avatar
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    Well, sailors do need their liberty.

    WV
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  10. #10
    ... yeah, just don't chew gum in public and make sure you flush that commode before you leave. Do that, and you'll be (not be) fine(d) in Singapore.<div class="ev_tpc_signature">



    "Whoever said nothing is impossible never tried to nail jam to a tree."
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